BOTOX® uses solutions of a purified protein derived from the Clostridium botulinum bacterium to reduce the activity of specific facial muscles responsible for some facial lines and wrinkles. When we make a facial expression, muscles react by contracting, tugging on the overlying skin and creating creases and folds. BOTOX® works by preventing nerve signals that cause these muscle contractions so lines and folds can't form. As a result, the injections can temporarily smooth moderate to severe frown lines and facial wrinkles caused by movement. These wrinkles are called dynamic wrinkles, and they include the crow's feet at the corners of the eyes, forehead lines and frown lines that form between the brows.
No, BOTOX® can only be used to treat dynamic wrinkles that form as a result of facial movements and expressions. Other types of wrinkles like those due to age and sun damage must be treated with other approaches like chemical peels, dermal fillers or microdermabrasion.
Treatment begins with a thorough assessment of the patient's facial anatomy to locate the ideal injections sites. During treatment, BOTOX® is injected using very fine needles, and most patients report no discomfort beyond a tiny pinching sensation. Once treatment is complete, there may be some mild temporary bruising that can last for about a week to 10 days. Once treatment is complete, it's important to avoid rubbing the area to prevent BOTOX® from spreading to adjacent tissues where it may cause temporary localized paralysis or weakening, especially around the eye lids.
Most patients see results within about two weeks of treatment, with continued improvement during the next few weeks. Results last about four to six months and can be “touched up” indefinitely. Many patients who have regular BOTOX® injections find their lines and wrinkles soften over time so they can extend the time between injections while still maintaining their results.
Yes, BOTOX® is approved by the FDA for the treatment of dynamic wrinkles and for many other medical treatments.